Devotional Message, Ministry Coaching

Are you a TREE or a SHRUB?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

When problems and trouble come, where do you put your trust? How you answer that question determines how effectively you can handle and overcome the problems and challenges of life.

Do you place your trust in your self? Or GOD? There is a sharp contrast between the two!

In Jeremiah 17, the Lord speaks to Jeremiah and God contrasts a dying shrub with a fruitful tree. God makes it clear, the difference between the two is proper TRUST in the Lord!

Jeremiah 17:5-6

 5 This is what the Lord says:
   “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans,
      who rely on human strength
      and turn their hearts away from the Lord.
 6 They are like stunted shrubs in the desert,
      with no hope for the future.
   They will live in the barren wilderness,
      in an uninhabited salty land.

This is the description of a person who puts their Trust in themselves. God is saying that the same fate will befall anyone who would trust in themselves, people and things of this world, therefore, rejecting God.

Why is the shrub dying, or possibly already dead? Simply put, it’s no longer being fed by the source of life…water. If it can’t get the life-giving and life-sustaining water that it needs, it becomes dry and bare and lifeless. 

Are your problems draining you of life? Do you feel at times like this dying shrub? Then I encourage you seek the Source of Life and living Water. In John 7:37-39 - Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”

Jesus is Life and when you trust Him you are like this contrasting picture: 

Jeremiah 17:7-8

 7 “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
      and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
 8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
      with roots that reach deep into the water.
   Such trees are not bothered by the heat
      or worried by long months of drought.
   Their leaves stay green,
      and they never stop producing fruit.

I love this picture of a beautiful tree by a flowing stream, with green leaves and fruit. It is a sight to see. It does not fear drought or heat. Its roots are deep and secure, and bathed in the life-giving and life-sustaining water it needs. That’s the picture of the Christian who trusts in the Lord! 

In the midst of your problems I encourage you to drink freely and deeply from the living water of God’s holy Word. A person overwhelmed by problems, is a person who is not drinking daily from the living water of God’s Word. You have a problem today Trust God and Get into the WORD, the Answer is there!

Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10 We can’t have a full life when we live like a dying shrub in a desert salt land all because we lean on our own understanding and rely on human and material resources. We can only have a full life when we are soaking up the grace of God by means of the water of Life – His Word and His Spirit. Only then will we be able to endure the tough times of life and produce the fruits of your service unto God.

Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betsy were sent to a Nazi concentration camp because her family hid Jews during World War II. Betsy died in that camp, but Corrie was released. After the war, she traveled the world, telling people about God’s love. Corrie knew first-hand how difficult life can be.

But she said, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” 

Today, you can be a tree planted along a riverbank, you can produce the fruit and fulfill the destiny God has for your life it starts with TRUSTING THE LORD with ALL your heart. 

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